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Are Humans and Beasts Too Close for Comfort Are humans and animals in too close contact for disease dispersal This question that is asked in the May 2000 article Germs and sickness in a shrinking world of US News online is one that needs to be looked at very directly As globalization shuffles more people animals and pathogen-contaminated products around the world biologists say infections are increasing Tangley 1 This shuffling of cultures occurred early with the Spanish conquistadors traveling to the New World The lands of America and its native inhabitants would soon be introduced to a variety of new diseases thus creating a virgin soil phenomenon Measles and smallpox were introduced by the Spaniards leaving the Native Americans too weak to protect their land The Spanish were descending the disease gradient making them insusceptible to the few diseases that were in the Americas McNeills law reveals that as a more diseased experienced population comes into contact with a less disease experie nced one the most common result is the more diseased experienced country will take over Animals brought over with the Spaniards only complicated matters for the less disease experienced Native society Parasitic commensalisms the situation in which the parasite benefits while the host does not but the host is not harmed occurring with the livestock or other animals can be directly transferred to human disease if the parasites have the ability to switch hosts Host specific animal parasites will not be as much of a threat but will still impede the progress of acculturation In the case of the Spanish conquistadors parasites aided them in overpowering the Native Americans The domestication of farm animals dates all the way back to the Baktiare nomads of Persia The Baktiare had domesticated sheep and goats 10000 years ago Although the Baktiare were unsuccessful as a tribe due to the inability for innovation resulting from their nomadic lifestyles they were beneficial
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